China lifts ban on US poultry

Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after making joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

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"We believe renewed access to China will present significant opportunities for growth and value creation for our team members, our growers and our business", said Pilgrim's Pride, which is mostly owned by JBS SA.

The US is the second largest poultry exporter in the world, behind Brazil, with more than $4.3 billion worth of product being exported a year ago, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

US agricultural groups have largely emphasized concrete steps to open Chinese markets to more USA sales, rather than specific purchasing targets.

US trade talks with China reportedly have hit a snag over Beijing's reluctance to increase its purchases of US agricultural products, adding another obstacle to locking down the limited trade deal US President Donald Trump outlined last month.

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Prior to the ban, the U.S. market for poultry imports into China had been worth over $500 million, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

However, optimism that the USA and China are close to a limited trade deal has faded in recent days due to uncertainty over whether Washington would agree to rollback tariffs and also how any agreement would be enforced. The the world's second-largest poultry exporter with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Improving access for United States farm products in the Chinese market has been a critical part of the negotiations, with the removal of non-tariff barriers seen as key to reaching Trump's goal of doubling agricultural sales to China.

China has also taken actions that could signal imports of USA farm goods are in jeopardy if talks sour.

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Trump said Beijing would buy up to $50 billion worth, but Chinese officials never have confirmed that. The deposits can cost as much as 60 million yuan ($8.5 million) per cargo and unloading can take about 28 days. In addition, it is demanding the roll-back of existing USA tariffs as part of any phase one deal. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that China is wary of putting a numerical commitment into writing, citing people familiar. A new site for the signing hasn't been announced.

United States poultry exports to China are projected to exceed 1 billion dollars annually as a result of Beijing's decision to lift a ban on poultry imports from the U.S., the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said.

-With assistance from Dandan Li, David Watkins, Miao Han, Mike Dorning and Jenny Leonard.

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